Feeds

Patient info ends up on eBay

NHS trust hard drives at knock-down prices

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust is trying to find out how one of its computers full of confidential medical information was sold on eBay.

Disposal of the DGoH's computers is carried out under contract to Siemens Medical Solutions, as part of a PFI agreement. Computer Disposals has a sub-contract with Siemens to dispose of obsolete IT. All hard drives that leave the trust via this route should undergo data wiping, which meets the government's standard of being over-written three times.

The confidential data was discovered by researchers working on forensic data recovery methods at Glamorgan University. The university's research is sponsored by BT, which purchases 250 hard drives a year from places such as eBay and regional computer fairs. It then passes these to the university, which attempts to recover data.

The research is designed to raise awareness in organisations of how easy it is to recover sensitive data where poor data wiping processes are used.

The trust said that, together with Siemens, it has carried out an internal investigation into the incident and developed recommendations to prevent data from being left on unwanted hard drives.

"Unfortunately, an investigation into how this particular hard drive has been openly purchased has not been able to identify the route at this stage, and the trust is continuing with its efforts to identify the source, including the possibility of theft," the trust said in a statement to GC News .

They include a change to the contract between the trust and Siemens about responsibility for the disposal of all IT equipment and the purchase of a degausser to ensure that hard drives are wiped before they leave the trust.

The trust board is expected to accept the recommendations when it meets later this month.

This summer, a report from the Information Commissioner's Office highlighted a "horrifying" number of public sector organisations that were guilty of careless breaches of personal information. It received almost 24,000 complaints concerning personal information over the last year.

In one high-profile breach, an online recruitment system for junior doctors revealed highly personal information on application forms, including sexuality and religion.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.